I was very apathetic about the 2000 presidential election. Mostly it was because I was all ready to volunteer for the campaign of Wellstone, who was making noises about running. As I recall, his health at the time (his back, I believe), was his stated reason for dropping out.
After that, I couldn't care. Neither Al Gore nor Bill Bradley did anything for me other than confirm that we are living in the Second Gilded Age.
My blogs will probably go dark for a couple of weeks as I head to the west coast, then overseas. Until then, adios.
Part of me thinks that there is some sort of anti-Catholic bias in this headline. I note there are quote marks around "protecting paedophile priests," yet that isn't a quote attributed to anyone in the story.
I think anyone who complains about the rights of those accused of terrorism, yet expresses an negative opinion about the rights of priests accused of pedophilia are hypocrites probably motivated by anti-religious, or perhaps specifically anti-Catholic, bigotry. Sadly, a lot of the most vocal members of the left have an anti-Catholic leaning. It is assumed by many that if a priest is accused of sexual abuse is automatically guilty. People forget the case of the late Cardinal Bernadin who was once accused of abusing a seminarian. It turned out that the accusations, based on "recovered memories" were false, and Bernadin forgave his false accuser.
Forget racial profiling, what about religious profiling?
And while we're on the subject of pedophilia, I have a suspicion that there is a genetic predisposition to pedophilia. In one sense, that would make it natural. Yet, I believe that sometimes we ought to try to overcome human nature, and not surrender to it.
A similar argument, that it is "natural," is applied by proponents of gay rights. I support gay rights. I am not in favor of this line of arguing. A great range of behaviors, desirable or undesirable, probably have genetic predispositions of a class similar to that proposed for homosexuality. If some humans are genetically disposed to go to war, does that make war natural?
Vatican politics are always funny. Let's be straight. I'm Catholic. I go to mass on weekends. I also don't hold Opus Dei in high regard.
The aura of secrecy around Opus Dei which is described in this article is at once chilling and pleasing to me. On the one hand, I believe that these people rationally choose to belong to such an organization and I am happy that there exist people who have the self-discipline to remove themselves from cetain facets of this modern world. On the other hand, I am in disagreement with such practices as mortification of the flesh or the segregation of the sexes.
The last section of the article gives out the primary focus of the current papacy. John Paul II is above all a virulent anti-Communist. His ideal form of government is probably socialist in nature, but he hates Communism. The conservativism of the current pope and of the organizations such as Opus Dei is actually an opposition to the revolutionary zeal that carried the bearers of the spirit of communism. The pope's strong opposition to war, nuclear weapons, and the death penalty are not given as wide a play in the media as those issues that paint the pope as a conservative SOB (abortion, women priests).
Hey, guess what? People want to paint Catholics as conservatives. Damn liberals. You'd think they'd realize the inherent progressive nature of Catholicism. But liberalism has been hijacked by not just secularists, but staunchly anti-religious folks. And I'm going to stop now, because otherwise I will just start ranting.
--Are we entering another Vietnam? Maybe, but not the way some anti-war activists think. I doubt that we are headed into a morass, fighting a war for people who actively oppose the idea in the first place. Instead, of a new Vietnam, we are heading for a new Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.
I think that right now we have the most dishonest administration that we have ever had. Other administrations have blatantly lied, but none has had the joint front that the current one has. I firmly expect the Bush administration to successfully pressure the intelligence community to fabricate evidence that supports the premise that war with Iraq is necessary. I also expect the administration to continue spinning information to support a tenuous case.
I'm not going to claim that the possible attack on a French oil tanker is some sort of black op intended to sway world opinion. I am going to say that watchdog groups have accused the federal government of dragging their feet on the anthrax investigations stemming from a year ago. Not coincidentally, Bush in a speech today mentioned anthrax explicitly as one of the biological weapons developed by Iraq. Since Bush so far has been (and will remain to be) unable to link Saddam Hussein to Al-Qaeda and September 11, instead he must resort to trying to get people to understand his implied statements. Even though there is no evidence linking Iraq to the anthrax attacks.
With a Gulf of Tonkin strategy, Bush must blow smoke into the eyes of Congress in order to gain a resolution authorizing the use of force. And as we all know, George W. Bush blows.
In theory, I am not opposed to the use of assassination as a political tool. Any decision to use this concentrated form of violence would, of course, have to undergo a cost-benefit analysis, including an understanding of whether or not the results would be better than the status quo. For example, the British chose to not go through with several plans to assassinate Hitler during World War II because they felt that his lack of skill as a military leader was beneficial to the Allied cause.
In all fairness, if we were willing to use assassination, it ought to be fair for others to use it on us (same view I have on nuclear weapons, by the way). And the commander-in-chief of the armed forces seems like a legitimate military target to me. Intellectual capital is sometimes neglected in discussions of military resources.
This is not to say that I'm advocating the assassination of the President. I merely admit in a conflict, it would be a legitimate military objective and should in way be a "war crime."
The one thing I would insist upon in the use of assassination as a political tool is to fess up to it afterwards. If the U.S., for example, plots an assassination, it should admit to taking part after the fact. I think Israel's Mossad occasionally employs assassins, and they are not shy about taking the credit afterwards. Sure, take part in the cloak-and-dagger to get the shot, but let people admire your handiwork afterwards.